Theme Music

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riccirich
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Theme Music

Post by riccirich » Sat Dec 13, 2008 12:39 am

Hi,

Does anyone know the two pieces of music that "inspired" Stu Philips to create the Knight Rider theme music?

I know one is a German piece.

The other (melody line) is from an Opera.

I know he has played it down and deliberately not mentioned the actual name(s) in interviews.
All he has said is that it is 'probably' public domain, as it is so old.
But, I guess there's always the fear that someone will come hunting for a cut of the publishing.
I'd imagine Glen Larson (who added his name to the wrting credits - that always makes me laugh) would not be keen to back date 28 years of royalties either!

Any help would be gratefully received. This has been bugging me for some time :?

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Re: Theme Music

Post by Dr. Graiman » Sat Dec 13, 2008 5:09 am

According to the FSM Release 'The Stu Phillips Scores' Booklet....

"Larson was very excited about the fact that it sounded 'familiar' and insisted that it remain, even thought it was discovered to be very similar to a fanfare from the ballet Sylvia, composed by Léo Delibes in 1875." :kittconv:

I can't even find more about in the autobiography by himself "Stu Who?"
FSM.jpg
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Re: Theme Music

Post by KITTfan » Sat Dec 13, 2008 8:26 am

I wonder if the German synth pop means for instance Kraftwerk? Their "Robots" -song from late 70's is well known and might go well with Knight Rider's futuristic image:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VXa9tXcMhXQ
(or perhaps this would be good for KARR's image since the music is very "cold" and robotic :twisted: )

Also from the same era, Giorgio Moroder's Chase -theme from Midnight Express film had similar "mechanical" rhythm in it and I remember a synthesizer version of it played in the radio in the 80's, haven't been able to find that version from youtube but here's another synth version of it:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8OzVuxV- ... re=related

Maybe these have had some inspiration to the KR theme?

Edit:
Just got an idea for the new KR since there's industrial robot in the show, I'd like to see it working while either of these songs plays in sync in the background :)

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Re: Theme Music

Post by My_Friend_KITT » Sat Dec 13, 2008 3:51 pm

Hey kittfan, that would be fun...

"We are the robots."

I like it.
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Re: Theme Music

Post by Vegasmike » Sat Dec 13, 2008 4:41 pm

Take a listen to the Human League's stuff, I think some parts of "Don't you want me" sound very similar to the KR (TOS) theme.

Didn't a rap music artist use the KR theme recently?

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Re: Theme Music

Post by Vegasmike » Sat Dec 13, 2008 4:43 pm


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Re: Theme Music

Post by My_Friend_KITT » Sat Dec 13, 2008 5:04 pm

That was fun, Mike. Hadn't heard that one in a while.
That is a computer not a sofa.......Knight of the Drones

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Re: Theme Music

Post by Vegasmike » Sun Dec 14, 2008 1:50 pm

Glad you liked it. :mrgreen:

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Re: Theme Music

Post by riccirich » Mon Dec 15, 2008 9:10 pm

"Sylvia" by Léo Delibes (1875).
Ahh, so that's the opera he refers to?!

If that's the fanfare part, it would interesting to solve the mystery of the "german" artist reference.

I suppose it's obvious to immediately think of Kraftwerk.
The only thing that I ever thought beared any relation to an element of the Knight Rider theme is the beat from
"Trans Europe Express" (albeit at a slower tempo).
Listen to the kick drum pattern, then the bassline at around 1 min 57 sec.
That, to my mind, could be the inspiration/starting point for the beat and bassline.
Does anyone else agree?

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=LWlgbAc3bbM

Now, what about that staccato polyrhythmic plucky synth melody?
I'm sure I've heard that somewhere before...and, it's not "Autobahn", either!

The first two bars of the intro to The Human League's "Don't You Want Me" has a twiterry synth part but, it's more rhythmical than melodic.

I can't think of a Giorgio Moroder production that has anything like that either.

Jan Hammer, maybe?
Harold Faltermeyer?

Of course, I could still be wrong about all of this.
Keep digging, people!

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Re: Theme Music

Post by trooper TK-WHA?? » Tue Dec 16, 2008 6:38 pm

Hey folks,
Did anyone notice in the Kraftwerks"Robots" video their neckties had red flashing LED's?
Made me think of: K.I.N.T.
Knight
Industries
Neck
Tie

Anyway,as for the inspiration of the KR theme,it's actually a piece called the march and procession of bacchus;here's the only youtube link I could find:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eVJedhHioho

You can hear it right in the opening notes.
If only I had a nickel for every time someone cut me off on the parkway and wished for a Turbo-Boost or Micro-jammer...

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Re: Theme Music

Post by My_Friend_KITT » Tue Dec 16, 2008 9:05 pm

Wow, that did sound exactly like the first segment of the KR theme. It was wierd to hear it through a trumpet. But wow.
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Re: Theme Music

Post by rerunkr2 » Fri Dec 19, 2008 2:50 pm

Let me finally clear up all of the misinformation about the main theme to Knight Rider.

IT WAS NOT... I REPEAT... WAS NOT INSPIRED BY ANY GERMAN PIECE. The fact that the melody line is similar to "The Entrance of Bacchus Fanfare" from "Sylvia," was purely ACCIDENTAL. There was, however, a piece of German synth music that was temped into the KR presentation, but that piece bears no resemblance to the KR music. This seems to be where the confusion stems from about the German inspiration.

Also, "Miami Vice" and Jan Hammer's theme occurred the following season. KR was the first on TV with a predominately synth theme.

Can we now lay this controversy to rest?

Amen

Happy Holidays to all you KR fans and I hope to see you in Vegas.

Stu Phillips

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Re: Theme Music

Post by Vegasmike » Fri Dec 19, 2008 3:15 pm

Thanks Stu! looking foreward to meeting you at the fest in march, in vegas! :good:

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Re: Theme Music

Post by trooper TK-WHA?? » Tue Dec 23, 2008 6:42 pm

Thanks for clearing that up,Mr.Phillips!I think I can safely say we are all grateful to you and Glen Larson for creating such an iconic and memorable theme that has endured for 20+years.With all the sampling,remixes(professional and amateur)and ringtones is testament to its staying power.Have a happy holiday,all!
If only I had a nickel for every time someone cut me off on the parkway and wished for a Turbo-Boost or Micro-jammer...

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